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The Visiting Jihadist By: Joe Kaufman
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, March 16, 2006


Throughout America, universities are turning a blind eye while their campuses are being invaded by those propagating a violent form of hatred known simply as radical Islam.  This month, one such campus will follow this insidious trend. On March 17th through the 18th, the University of Central Florida (UCF) will be hosting an imam who has ties to terrorists and has publicly pledged his support for those who commit suicide in the name of Allah.

Ibrahim Dremali, the Family Man

As a Muslim extremist, Ibrahim Dremali has had an eventful life. He grew up in terrorist-saturated Gaza, where many of his family still live. This includes his brother, Ishaq, who is the former Gaza Coordinator for the Health Resource Center for Palestine (HRCP), a now-defunct, Hamas-related American charity run by Ibrahim’s wife, Lamyaa Hashim (a.k.a. Um Ahmad).

 

Ibrahim Dremali was educated at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, where the school’s Grand Imam, Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, has issued Fatwas in favor of violent Jihad against America and in support of suicide bombings.  It is at Al-Azhar that Dremali was said to have been indoctrinated into a militant organization.  This gives historical context for an event that happened on July 1, 1996, during which Dremali was detained by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and told that he was not to leave Gaza indefinitely.  Subsequently, on July 5, 1996, against Israeli orders, he arrived in Cairo.

 

Dremali would soon make his way to sunny Florida, where he resided previous to the IDF incident.  Later, he would be chosen as the Imam of a radical Boca mosque, the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR), and the home of an Al-Qaeda operative, Rafiq Sabir, and an associate of Sami Al-Arian, Bassem Alhalabi, who would receive a sentence in 2003 for shipping a $13,000 piece of military equipment to Syria.

 

In October of 2000, as reported by Lamyaa Hashim in Islam Online, Dremali spoke at a rally where Israeli flags were burned and the crowd shouted, “With jihad we'll claim our land, Zionist blood will wet the sand.”  Dremali told the audience “not to be sad for those who were martyred and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in.”  Dremali’s support for suicide bombers didn’t end there, as he wound up being a witness for the defense of Adham Hassoun, the Florida contact for the Benevolence Foundation and the Global Relief Foundation, two “charities” closed down by the U.S. government for providing funding to Al-Qaeda and/or Hamas.

 

Today, Dremali, who claims he was run out of town by this author, has ‘sought refuge’ – with his second wife and his four children – in Des Moines, Iowa, where he is the Imam of the Islamic Center of Des Moines (ICDM).  Recently, he was interviewed wearing a black and white checkered Fatah kaffiyeh, and he stated that, for him and his congregants, the prophet Mohammed is “more valuable than even our own lives, own kids.”

 

On March 17, 2006, Ibrahim Dremali is set to make a return appearance in Florida.  The Muslim Students Association (MSA) at UCF – using funds from the school’s Student Government Association (SGA) – is having him, along with two other radical imams, speak at its two-day conference entitled, ‘Returning to Our Rabb.’

 

Two Imams, a Convict and a Terror Financier

 

One of the other featured speakers is Abdulbary Yahya, an instructor with the AlMaghrib Institute, an Islamic-based educational foundation.  In MSA’s bio of him, it states that Yahya is “currently the Imam of Masjid Jaamiul Muslimeen in Seattle, Washington,” yet, according to the February 2006 issue of Southern California InFocus, Yahya lost his Seattle mosque, due to “zoning issues.”

 

Abdulbary Yahya has also interacted with Dremali in the past.  Both imams were featured in the fifth annual Texas Dawah Convention held in December of 2005.  The list of speakers at this event represents a who’s who of radical Islam.  They include:

 

The other speaker at the UCF event is Radwan Kouatli (a.k.a. Abunour), the Imam of Masjid Al-Ihsaan in Orlando and former UCF student.  According to Kouatli, on his website Love Allah, “It is a major sin to celebrate Christmas.  He tells Muslims, “Do not model your eid [holiday] after Christians’ customs.”  He finishes his piece off with a quotation from an Islamic Hadith (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 662) discussing Muslims who imitate the “wrong ways” of “the Jews and the Christians” to the point where Muslims will follow Jews and Christians into the “hole” or “burrow” of an “iguana” or “mastigate.”

 

This event will not mark the first time UCF has had to deal with radical Islamists infiltrating its campus.  In 2003, one of the school’s professors, Hussam Jubara, pled guilty to charges that he made false statements on Immigration and Naturalization forms.  However, this was nothing compared to what Jubara was involved in.

 

In 1988, Hussam Jubara helped found the Islamic Concern Project (a.k.a. Islamic Committee for Palestine or ICP) with Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian.  The ICP was instrumental in raising funds for Islamic Jihad.  Jubara served as a Director and Secretary for the group.  He had also purchased property and had published articles with Al-Arian.  Furthermore, he listed Al-Arian as one of his personal references on his resume, when applying for a job at UCF in 2000.

 

In addition to this, UCF is accepting funds from an organization that has, as well, given money to groups connected to terrorists.  According to the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), the non-profit institute is providing “matching funds” towards “an endowment for a chair in Islamic studies” at UCF.  IIIT’s “news” item, which contains a UCF logo on it, goes on to say that the endowment “seeks to bring a distinguished Islamic scholar to UCF in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Middle Eastern Studies Program.”  IIIT has given “tens of thousands of dollars” to Palestinian Islamic Jihad fronts, including Jubara’s Islamic Concern Project.

 

MSA and the Headless Header

 

According to UCF’s Director of Student Involvement, Kerry Welch, after meeting with MSA student leaders, the group “assured” him that the upcoming event “is a legitimate program/conference, designed to inspire the Islamic community to live a spiritual life.”  But look who Welch is getting his information from!

 

Upon visiting the homepage of the newly redesigned UCF MSA website, one is taken aback to see an image of a headless body adorn the site’s masthead.  This is especially disturbing, given the amount of Islamic-perpetrated beheadings that have taken place over the last four years.  Under the body, on the homepage, one can view a pleasant-looking advertisement for the March 17 conference.  Below that are “Words of Wisdom,” “News & Announcements,” and “Upcoming Events.”  One of the recent events was a trip to the 2006 MAS Olympics being sponsored by the Muslim American Society of Tampa, a group that featured an Al-Qaeda web designer as a speaker for its January youth event.

 

Aside from the main website, the MSA of UCF also has a separate ‘blog ring’ site, where members tell a little about themselves, while linking to their own personal blog pages.  Some of the members’ personal pages are very nondescript and innocuous; but others are highly intimate, threatening in nature, and show an utter contempt for non-Muslims:

 

A Curse, a Libel, a Conclusion

 

This past week, tape recordings of a New York imam’s two April 2005 lectures, in which he cursed the White House and revived an anti-Semitic libel, were brought to light.  The imam, Umar Abdul-Jalil, gave the speeches at a conference in Tucson, Arizona, sponsored by the Muslim Students Association.  He stated, “We know the greatest terrorists in the world occupy the White House, without a doubt.”  And he urged American Muslims to stop allowing “the Zionists of the media to dictate what Islam is” and to act “hard against the kufr [unbeliever].”

 

Because of his statements, Abdul-Jalil was put on administrative leave from his government job as the Executive Director of ministerial services for the city Department of Correction.  According to Steven Emerson, the head of the Investigative Project, the organization that taped the imam’s lectures, “This kind of speech sends young Muslims into a rage.  Yet there is nothing to suggest that these same types of speeches are not taking place at all conferences being put on by the MSA.

 

Schools across the United States can deal with this in one of two ways.  They can recognize the problem and take action against it, so that it will not poison their campuses any more than it already has, or they can ignore it and make like the problem does not exist.  By allowing Ibrahim Dremali and other Islamists onto its premises – even paying for their services – UCF has demonstrated that it is of the latter variety.  UCF has chosen to do nothing to stop this problem, which of course, makes UCF part of the problem. 

Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.

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Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the founder of CAIR Watch.


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